Can you help me figure out what does "I'll be down first thing tomorrow" mean exactly in this context? And I also wonder if somebody uses that expression, and if so how frequently is it used? Because I have checked it on NGram and it didn't show me anything.

A: Can you change me my credit card from a college to a normal account?

B: Of course, but you will have to come to the bank to do that.

A: Alright, I'll be down first thing tomorrow.

  • Are you asking why it's down? Or about the usage first thing [in the morning]? Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 14:40
  • @FumbleFingers Probably all of the above and more. The sentence is a big pile of idiom and it seems reasonable that somebody wouldn't understand it. Commented Jun 5, 2018 at 16:00
  • @DavidRicherby: So it would seem. Some of the answers here are a bit misleading, in that they suggest first thing in the morning specifically carries the sense of as soon as the bank opens and/or that will be my first priority in the morning. What it actually "paraphrases" is something along the lines of that will be the first thing I do (even if I have other things to do which are far more important / higher priority, I still intend to do that one first). Commented Jun 5, 2018 at 16:11

3 Answers 3


In this context, 'down' is "any direction, but I'll arrive where you are".
In short, it means there, where you are.

"I'll be at your establishment early tomorrow" is the full intent.

The rest is 'pseudo-random direction' depending on the height difference, geographical centre, any vague hint of directionality.

Natives use these all the time.

"I'll be [up/round/down/in/about/over]" is relative to where the speaker considers they currently are in relation to where they're going. Uphill or downhill, out to the outskirts of the city or into the centre, indoors or outdoors, upstairs or down.

To the listener, they indicate some element of 'travel' but the absolute direction is often actually irrelevant to the overall meaning.

Late edit
I was assuming 'first thing' wasn't the issue.
If it is, then 'first thing' implies intent to be there at approximately opening time. It indicates the importance to the speaker of early arrival at that destination.


In the context set out in the question, the response literally means that A will be at the bank when it opens in the morning of the following day, or possibly shortly after it opens. However, the response need not be interpreted too literally. In reality, A is emphasising that the transaction is important to her/him, and indicating she/he will go to the bank the following day, probably earlier in the day than later.

This expression, or others similar to it, is commonly used in English.

The full expression:

I'll be down first thing tomorrow.

may be too long to look up in Ngram. Try just looking up:

first thing tomorrow

instead and you should see some results.


The sentence can be rephrased as: "I'll be there, first thing tomorrow."

Which implies: "Meeting you is the first priority for me tomorrow."

  • 1
    That’s not a bad paraphrase but it may not be exactly true. I may have other higher-priority things to take care of tomorrow, and, depending on when the bank opens, I may have other things I plan to do first. A better paraphrase might be, “I’ll be there shortly after you open.”
    – J.R.
    Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 17:46
  • I agree with you. Makes better sense that way .
    – Aditya
    Commented Jun 3, 2018 at 18:52

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